Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Glossary of terms and names used in Egyptology, with variant spellings
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Glossary of ancient Egyptian terms and names

The word form in bold type is the one generally used on this site.
Some remarks concerning transliteration and pronunciation of ancient Egyptian


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

A
Aah, Iah
Moon sacred to Osiris, Djehuty (Thoth) and Khonsu
Abdu Heba
Ruler of Jerusalem, contemporary of Akhenaten
Achotep, Ahhotep, Ahotep
Apparently two queens, although it has been suggested that there may have been just one:
1) Queen, daughter of Tao I, sister/wife of Tao II Sekenenre
2) Queen, possibly wife of Kamose
Achenaten, Akhenaten, Akhenaton, Akhnaten, Akhnaton
Amenhotep IV, a New Kingdom pharaoh, 18th dynasty
Aegis (Greek)
Ornamental collar, menat
Ahmose, Amasis
1) Two pharaohs - Ahmose I 18th dynasty and Ahmose II, 26th dynasty;
2) Ahmose-Nefertiri, Queen of the 18th Dynasty;
3) Ahmose Son of Ebana, admiral under king Ahmose I (Autobiography)
4) Ahmose Pen-nekhbet, high official under Ahmose I (Autobiography)
Akhet (Ax.t [1]), Shait
Season of inundation, from mid-July to mid-November in Ptolemaic times
Akhetaten, Al Amarna, El Amarna
Capital of Akhenaten, 18th dynasty
Akh (Ax)
at times translated as 'soul', cf. Body and Soul
Akhu, akhet (Ax.t): The blessed dead, ancestors
Akhtoy, Kheti
Alashia, Alasyia
Probably Cyprus
Amen, Ammon, Amon, Amun, Amoun, Amun-Re or Amen-Re
Main God during the New Kingdom, identified with Zeus by the Greeks
Amenemhab, Amenemheb
War companion of Thutmose III (Amenemhab's Biography)
Amenemhet, Amenemhat
Four pharaohs of the 12th dynasty
Amenhotep
1) 4 New Kingdom pharaohs, 18th dynasty, often called by the (incorrect) Greek form Amenophis;
2) Son of Hapu, scribe, favourite of Amenhotep III (Autobiographical inscription)
Amenemope, Amenemopet
1) Family of high New Kingdom officials;
2) Vice-roy of Kush under Seti I;
3) Vizier under Amenhotep II
Amenirdis
Wife of the God (High priestess of Amen)
Amenmes
New Kingdom pharaoh, 19th dynasty
Amenmose
1) Son of Thutmose I and Ahmose, general;
2) Brother of Nefertari, mayor of Thebes;
3) Son of Bekenptah, officer under the Ramessides
Amenophis
according to Manetho Greek for Amenhotep and still often used in this sense; philologically correct for Amenemope (imn-m-ipt)
Amenti
Realm of the Dead, cf Duat
Ammit, Ammut
Chimaera, destroyer of the hearts of dead who were not justified
Amorites, Amurru
People in Retenu (Today's Lebanon and western Syria)
Amratian
Middle pre-dynastic period, 3550 to 3400 BCE, also called Naqada IA and IB
Amulet
Charm
Anch, ankh (anx)
Symbol of enduring life
Anchesenamen, Anchesenamun, Ankhesenamen, Ankhesenamun, Ankhesenaten, Ankhesenpaaten
Wife of Tutankhamen, 18th dynasty
Anchnesmerire, Ankhnesmeryre
Queen, Mother of Pepi II
Anhuret, Anhur, Onuris
Identified with the Greek Ares. His main cult was at Papremis
Ankh
Life, its hieroglyph was often worn as an amulet
Ankhmahor
6th dynasty vizier
Ankhtifi
nomarch in Upper Egypt during the FIP
Anubis, Anpu, Khenty-Imentiu, Hermanubis
God, conductor of souls
Antef
see Intef
Antefoker
Mayor and vizier under Senusret I
Anubis, Anpu
God of the necropolis
Apep
see Apopis
Apepi
Two Hyksos kings
Aphrodite
the Greek equivalent of Hathor
Apis, Serapis, Osiris-Apis
Bull symbolizing fertility venerated at Memphis
Apophis, Apopis, Apep
The serpent of Chaos, sometimes equated with Seth
Apotropaic (from Greek)
Having the power to avert evil
Artaxerxes
2 Persian kings and Egyptian pharaohs (27th dynasty)
Arura, aroura (Greek)
The ground covered by a yoke of ploughing oxen in one day, about 2700 m²
Artaba (Persian)
Dry measure, about 36 litres in classical times, about 27 litres under the Ptolemies.
Aser, Asr, Ausas
see Osiris
Aset, Ast, Auset
see Isis
Ashur-Uballit
King of Assyria, contemporary of Akhenaten
Atef
Crown worn by Osiris
Aten, Aton
The sun disk, unique god of Akhenaten
Avaris, Awaris
Capital of the Hyksos kings in the Delta
Ay
1) Merneferre, pharaoh of the 13th dynasty;
2) Ay, Aye, Ai, Kheperkheperure
Vizier of Tutankhamen and pharaoh of the 18th dynasty
B
Ba (bA)
The "soul"
Spiritual force such as an anonymous divinity
Manifestation of a god
The king's power to rule
The eternal forces of a human, depicted in tombs as a bird with a human head.
Ba'ah, Seba-djai
The planet Venus
Badarian
Early pre-dynastic period, 3800 to 3500 BCE, also Fayum A or Merimda
Bai, Bay
Chancellor of Ramses Siptah, 19th dynasty
Bakare
Listed in the Turin King list as successor of Khafre
Bakenkhons, Bakenkhonsu, Bekenkhonsu
High Priest of Amen under Ramses II, possibly father of Nefertari, member of the Amenemope clan, block statue
Bast, Bastet, Ubasti, Pasht
Goddess of the home, Artemis to the Greeks. Her cultural centre was at Bubastis
Bat
Goddess with the form of a cow, from the Middle Kingdom on merged with Hathor
Bau
Messenger or appearance of a deity
Benben
1) The first land to rise from the primordial waters.
2) Pyramid shaped sacred stone at Heliopolis
Bennu bird (bnw)
see Phoenix
Bes, Bisu
Dwarf god
Biridiya
Ruler of Megiddo, contemporary of Akhenaten
Book of the Dead
Better The Book of Going Forth by Day. A collection of magical writings placed in tombs since the New Kingdom with the intention of helping the deceased in the after-life.
Burnaburiash
Kassite king of Babylonia, contemporary of Akhenaten
Byblos (Greek), Gebal, Gubla, Kubna (Egyptian)
City in Lebanon, important to Egyptian trade
byssus
fr. Greek bussos, fine linen
C
Cambyses, Kambyses
Persian king, conqueror of Egypt, founder of the 27th dynasty
Canaan
Today's Israel and southern Lebanon, above all the coastal region
Canobic, Heracleotic (from Latin, Greek)
The westernmost arm of the Nile, after the city of Canobus (Canopus)
Canopic jars (from Latin, Greek)
Vessels containing the inner organs of the deceased, generally four, in the form of the sons of Horus (from Canopus, see above)
Cartonnage (French)
Expression used by Egyptologists for the masks and coffins made of cardboard like materials.
Cartouche (French)
The name of a pharaoh in hieroglyphs surrounded by an oval band denoting eternity
Cataract (from Greek kataraktes down-rushing)
Rapids, waterfall. The first Nile cataract was Egypt's southern border
Chadouf (Arabic)
see Shadouf
Chafre, Chefren
see Khafre
Chamudi
see Khamudi
Cheops, Chufu
see Khufu
Choachyte
Greek for Egyptian wAH mw, lit. Dispenser of water, Priest in charge of the cult of the dead who, for a fee, carried out the role of undertaker
Chons, Chonsu
see Khons
Chthonic (Greek)
from the earth. Chthonic deities: Sepa, Heqet etc
Cippus (Latin)
Pointed rectangular pillar, in Egyptology: Amulet or stela showing Horus triumphing over dangerous beasts
Circumcision
The surgical modification of the genitals of boys and men
Coffin Texts
Magical writings written on coffins since the FIP.
Corbel (from Latin)
Projection jutting out from wall, supporting structure above it. Used to make false arches
Corvée (French)
Tax in the form of labour
Crook, heka
Originally a shepherd's staff it became a symbol of power carried by pharaohs and high officials
Cubit (Origninally from Latin)
Linear measure.
1) Short cubit: 6 palms = 24 fingers;
2) Royal cubit : 7 palms = 28 digits - 52.3 cm
D
Darius
2 Persian kings and Egyptian pharaohs (27th dynasty)
Deben, (dbn)
Weight, equal to 10 kit, originally 27gr (copper), 13gr (gold), from NK on about 91 grammes
Greek period: monetary unit worth 20 silver drachmas, later 20 copper drachmas
Decans (from Latin decem, ten)
36 star constellations, each rising above the horizon at sunrise during ten days every year, used by the ancient Egyptian calendar
Demotic (Greek)
the last stage of development of the ancient Egyptian script
Demurrage
Charge paid by the depositors of grain in the state granaries, see credit
Dendarah, Denderah
Site of Hathor's main temple
Deshret (dSr.t)
1) The red crown of Lower Egypt;
2) The red land, i.e. the desert
Dionysos
Greek god, identified with Osiris
Djahi, Zahi
Ill defined coastal region in Canaan
Djed pillar, djet pillar (Dd)
Hieroglyph often carried as an amulet, linked to the Osiris myth
Djehuti, Thoth
1) God of knowledge and wisdom, moon god, identified with Hermes Trismegistus by the Greeks;
2) Scribe, general and viceroy under Thutmose III
Djet (Dt)
Eternity, continuous and linear as opposed to neheh
Djoser, Zoser
Old Kingdom pharaoh, 3rd dynasty
Drachma
Greek monetary unit, divided into 6 obols. The standard coin in use was the silver tetradrachma worth four drachmas.
Duat (dwA.t)
Originally the starry sky.
The Realm of the Dead, populated by the deceased who have become stars. Often somewhat misleadingly referred to as Underworld or Netherworld.
Dynasty (from Greek)
Line of hereditary rulers
E
Early dynastic
Historic period, 3050 to 2600 BCE, also called Naqada IIIA1 to IIIC1
Echnaton
see Akhenaten
El Amarna, Al Amarna (Arabic), Akhetaten
Capital of Egypt under Akhenaten, 18th dynasty
Electrum (from Greek)
A gold and silver alloy, used for covering the tips of obelisks
Encaustic (from Greek)
paint based on wax
Ennead (from Greek enneas, nine)
A group of nine deities, such as the Ennead of Heliopolis
All the gods of a locality
Execration texts
Texts containing curses against (state) enemies, cf. Execration rituals
Eye of Re
See Hathor
F
Faience (from French, after the Italian town of Faenza)
Glazed ceramics, often blue or green
Faiyoum, Faiyum, Fayoum, Fayum, Fayyoum, Fayyum
Fertile low-lying region west of the Nile
False door
symbolic door for the ka, painted or carved on a tomb wall
FIP
First Intermediate Period
Flail, flagellum (from Latin flagrum, scourge), nekhekh, nekhakha
A flail carried by the pharaoh symbolizing his power; attribute of Osiris and Min.
G
Geb, Keb
Earth god
Gebal, Gubla
see Byblos
Genital mutilation
The surgical modification of the genitals of girls and women
Gerzean
Late pre-dynastic and protodynastic periods, 3400 to 3050 BCE, divided into
Early Gerzean, 3400 to 3300 BCE (Naqada IC, IIA, IIB)
Middle Gerzean, 3300 to 3200 BCE (Naqada IIC)
Late Gerzean, 3200 to 3050 (Naqada IID1, IID2)
Gesso (Italian)
Mixture of plaster of Paris and glue, used as a kind of putty
God's Father
Priest of intermediate rank.
God's Land, Egyptian tA nTr (Ta netjer)
Term used for some foreign, generally wooded regions: Punt in the south, but also regions in Syria etc.
Great Green (literal translation of wAD-wr )
Generally supposed to denote the Sea, especially the Mediterranean. It has also been proposed to stand for the Nile (delta) or the Fayum.
Griffin
Chimaera with a lion's body and a falcon's head, since the OK symbol of the victorious ruler
H
Hah
Personification of eternity, props up the heavens
Hamamat, Hammamat
Wadi connecting the Nile valley to the Red Sea near Thebes
Hannu
see Henenu
Hapi, Hapy
1) God of the Nile;
2) One of the Four Sons of Horus
Hapiru, Apiru, Habiru
Nomadic asiatics of the 2nd millennium BCE, often considered outlaws. Used to be wrongly identified with the Hebrews
Harakhte
God, see also Horus, Re
Harem (Arabic), Egyptian ipet
institution run by the pharaoh's first wife for the benefit of the pharaoh's wives and female relatives, not to be confounded with the muslim harem of later times
Haremhab
see Horemheb
Hathor
Goddess of sky, love, mirth, beauty and fertility
Hatshepsut, Hatshepsowe
Female pharaoh, 18th dynasty
Hatti, Kheta
Anatolian nation, in conflict with the Egyptians during the New Kingdom
Heb Sed (Hb-sd)
festival (Hb) celebrated after 30 years of rule or more frequently. Its precise purpose is unknown, but is supposed to have to do with the pharaoh's rejuvenation.
Hedjet, nefer-hedjet (nfr-D.t)
the white crown of Upper Egypt
Heka (HkA)
Magic
Heka-khase (HqA-xAsw.t )
see Hyksos
Hekat, Heket
see Heqat
Heliopolis, On
Main temple of the sun god Re
Hemaka
Royal sealbearer (chancellor) under Den (1st dynasty)
Henenu, Hannu, Henu
Steward and overseer of herds, 11th dynasty
Henku
Nomarch, late OK (Inscription)
Hephaestos, Hephaistos
The Greek equivalent of Ptah
Hepu
Vizier under Thutmose IV
Hepuseneb
First prophet of Amen under Hatshepsut
Heqa (HqA.t)
Crook, symbol of pharaonic authority
Heqat (HqA.t)
Measure of volume of varying size:
1) Barrel, bushel. Divided into 10 hin, c. 4.8 litres, used throughout history
2) Common bushel, double barrel, c. 9.6 litres, Middle to New Kingdom
3) Large bushel, also called oipe, about 19.2 litres
Heqat, Heqet, Hekt, Hekat, Heket (Hq.t)
Goddess of birth in the form of a frog
Her-ka-pet
The planet Saturn
Hermanubis, Anpu, Khenty-Imentiu
see Anubis
Heru
see Horus
Heru-deshret
The planet Mars
Her-wepes-tawy
The planet Jupiter
Heseb (Hsb)
Square measure: One quarter of a tA, divided into 2 sA
Hesire
Overseer over the royal scribes under Djoser (3rd dynasty), physician and dentist
Hierakonpolis (Greek), Nekhen
Ancient southern capital
Hieratic (from Greek hieratikos, priest)
Cursive writing of Hieroglyphs
Hieroglyphics (from Greek hierogluphicos, sacred writing
Egyptian writing using stylized pictures (hieroglyphs)
Hin (hnw)
lit. jar, one tenth of a heqat, about half a litre
Hittites
People of Hatti
Hor
1) Hor, pharaoh, probably 13th dynasty;
2) Hor, priest during the Late Period;
3) Hor, mountain in northern Canaan;
4) see Horus
Horbaf
Son of Khufu (4th dynasty), vizier
Hordjedef, Djedefhor
Son of Khufu (4th dynasty)
Horemheb
New Kingdom general and pharaoh, 18th dynasty
Horus, Hor, Heru, Hru
Sun god, son of Isis and Osiris
Horus name
First of the pharaonic titles, often written in a serekh
Hotep Senusret (Kahun)
Middle Kingdom planned town
House of Life
Repositories for knowledge in temples
Hyksos
The Heqa-khasut, wrongly translated as Shepherd Kings, an Asiatic people, founded a kingdom in Northern Egypt, 15th and 16th dynasties
Hypostyle
(Greek hupostulos, under columns) Building with roof supported by pillars
I
Ikhernofret
Chancellor under Senusret III, (Stela)
Imhotep
High official under of Djoser (3rd dynasty), later deified.
Intef, Antef, Inyotef
Pharaohs of the 11th dynasty
IP
Intermediary Period
Ipet
see harem
Isfet
disorder, chaos, opposed to Maat
Isis, Auset, Aset, Ast
Goddess of fertility and nature, consort of Osiris. Identified with Demeter and Aphrodite
Iteru (jtrw)
1) River-unit, measure of length, 20000 cubits, ca. 10 km, Greek skhoine
2) ca. 2km according to Breasted
3) River, Nile
Ithyphallic (from Greek ithuphallicos)
Having an erect penis, a sign of fertility (depictions of ba-birds, Osiris, Min or Amen, etc)
J
Judgment of the Dead
Decision by the gods on the afterlife of a person
Justified
maa-kheru, lit. True of voice, dead person judged favourably
K
Ka
Immortal part of a being, but needing nourishment, coming into existence together with the being: the "life force", continuity of existence. Cf. Body and Soul.
To go to his ka: to die
Kadashman Enlil
King of Babylon, contemporary of Amenhotep III
Kadesh, Kedesh, Qadesh
1) Fortified town in Retenu, site of famous battle
2) Goddess
Kagemni
1) Vizier under Snefru, author of the Instructions of Kagemni;
2) Vizier under Teti (6th dynasty) with famous mastaba
Kahun, Lahun, Illahun (Arabic)
Middle Kingdom planned town near the site of Hotep Senusret
Kambyses
see Cambyses
Kamutef
Lit. 'Bull of his Mother'. Name of the ithyphallic, self-created Amen and Min
Kanofer
Architect under Khasekhemwy (2nd dynasty), speculatively Imhotep's father
Karnak, Al Karnak (Arabic)
modern village, occupying the northern half of pharaonic Thebes, Ipet isut, the site of many ancient temples
Kawab
Son of Khufu (4th dynasty)
Keftiu
described as a place in the midst of the Great Green, i.e. the Mediterranean, possibly Crete, sometimes identified with Cyprus or with the whole of the Aegean
Kemet (km.t)
The black (land)
The fertile soil of the Nile flood plain
Egypt which is also called the Two Lands
Kenbet (qnb.t)
Judicial commission or court
Kezweden, Kizzuwadna
Hurrian vassal state of the Hittites in southern Anatolia
Khafre, Chafre, Chefren
Old Kingdom Pharaoh, 4th dynasty
Khaemwaset
Son of Ramses II, high priest of Ptah
Khamudi, Chamudi, Apepi II
Hyksos king
Khar (XAr)
Lit. sack, measure of capacity
1) Deka-heqat, 10 heqat, ca.48 litres. (OK, MK)
2) Deka-heqat, khar, equals 4 oipe, i.e. 16 heqat, ca. 96 litres (MK-SIP)
3) Khar, 4 oipe, 76 litres (NK-TIP)
Kheker sign (Xkr)
architectural decoration
Khekheperre-sonbu
Priest (Admonitions)
Khentamenti, Khenty-Imentiu, Chontamenti
see Anubis, also Osiris
Kheops
see Khufu
Khepresh, Kheperesh (xprS)
The blue crown
Khet (xt), khet-en-nu
Linear measure, 100 cubits, about 50 metres
Kheta
see Hatti
Kheti, Akhtoy
A number of kings ruling at Heracleopolis during the First Intermediate Period
A number of nomarchs during the First Intermediate Period:
    1) Kheti son of Tefibi (inscription)
    2) Kheti son of Sit (inscription)
Khnumhotep, Khnumhotpe
1) Khnumhotep I, nomarch (Inscription)
2) Khnumhotep II, grandson of Khnumhotep I, nomarch (Inscription)
Khons, Khonsu
1) Moon God, son of Amen and Mut, his main temple was at Karnak;
2) Called To: First prophet of Menkheperra under Ramses II
Khufu, Cheops
Old Kingdom Pharaoh, 4th dynasty
Kiosk (from French kiosque, Turkish kösk)
A roof supported by columns or poles
Kit, kite, qite, (qd.t)
weight, one tenth of a deben, about 9 grammes (during the New Kingdom)
Greek period: monetary unit worth one tenth of a deben = 2 drachmas
Kohl (fom Arabic kuhl )
Black eyeliner (cf. Cosmetics)
Kubna, Gepen
Egyptian name for Byblos
Kush, Kash
Nubian region above the second cataract
KV
Used by archaeologists together with a number to identify tombs in the Valley of the Kings
L
Labayu
Ruler of Shechem, contemporary of Akhenaten (cf. Amarna Letters)
Lector priest
Priest reading ritual texts
Libu, Ribu
Libyans
Lesonis
Greek for Egyptian mr-Sn, an elected official in charge of the economic management of a temple
LP
Late Period
L.P.H.
Life, prosperity, health (anx wDA snb) [1] - Wish for well-being, added after the names of pharaohs, "prosperity" should rather be "soundness"
Luxor (Arabic el Uksor)
modern village, occupying the southern half of ancient Thebes, Ipet resyt
M
Ma
see Meshwesh
Maa-kheru (mAa-xrw )
True of voice, justified. Used for
1) the winning party in a trial,
2) the dead whose heart weighed less than a feather
Maat, Ma'at, Mayet (maA.t)
Goddess of Truth; the world order, justice, proper conduct.
Mafdet
Goddess, symbolizing judicial authority and the execution apparatus
Mammisi (Coptic)
lit. House of Birth, sanctuary attached to a temple; dedicated to the birth of the child deity of a triad
Mastaba (Arabic mastaba, bench)
Old Kingdom, underground tomb with above ground structure
Maziqda
38 hin, about 19 litres
Medjay
Nubian mercenaries since the First Intermediary Period, police under Ahmose I and his successors
Megiddo
Important Canaanite town, site of battle
Meh-ta (mH-tA)
Area measure, 100 cubits squared, ca.27 m², New Kingdom
Memphis (Greek), Mennefer, Mof
Old Kingdom capital of Egypt (near Cairo)
Menat (mnj.t)
1) Musical instrument, castanet;
2) Broad collar or necklace, attribute of Hathor
Men, Menes, Min
First pharaoh of the united kingdom according to Herodotus, identified as Hor-aha
Menkaure, Mykerinos
Old Kingdom Pharaoh, 4th dynasty
Menkheperreseneb
High priest of Amon at Karnak, 18th dynasty
Mentuhotep, Montuhotep
4 pharaohs of the 11th dynasty
Mereruka
vizier under Teti (6th dynasty), successor of Kagemni
Meryre, Pepi I, Pepy I
Old Kingdom pharaoh, 6th dynasty
Meryt-Amen
Daughter of Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, wife of Smenkhkare(?)
Meskhenet
Goddess personification of the birthing stone, two bricks placed under the feet of the woman giving birth in a crouching position
Meshwesh (mSwS), Ma
Libyans settled in the Delta during the Third Intermediary Period, mercenaries
Metjen
Official under Snofru (Biography)
Min
Fertility god
Pharaoh, see Menes
Mitanni
Hurrian people living in Naharin (western Mesopotamia), disappeared as an independent nation during the Egyptian New Kingdom
MK
Middle Kingdom
Moeris, Moiris
1) possibly Amenemhet III.
2) Lake Moeris - lake in the Fayum excavated according to Herodotus by Moeris
Montu, Mont
War god
Montuhotep
see Mentuhotep
Mut
1) Mother goddess, often equated with Isis
2) Deceased with often malicious intentions
N
Nagada, Naqada
Settlement 30 km northwest of Thebes. Name for predynastic periods from 3550 to 2600 BCE
Naharin, Naharina
Region in Syria or Lebanon, at times identified with Aram Naharaim, the region between western Tigris and the Euphrates, at others with the region between the Litani and the Orontes.
Naos (Greek naos, temple)
The sanctuary with the divine statues
Narmer
King, thought by many to be the uniter of Upper and Lower Egypt
Natron (from Spanish, originally Greek)
Carbonate salt mixture used in mummifying, found at Wadi Natrun
Naucratis, Naukratis (Greek)
Ionian city in the Delta
Nebamen, Nebamon, Nebamun
Chief of police in western Thebes under Thutmose IV and Amenhoteop III
Superintendent of the grain stores under Thutmose III (cf. Abbott papyrus)
Nebwawi
High Priest of Osiris under Thutmose III (Inscription)
Necho, Neco, Necos, Nekhau
Two pharaohs of the Late Dynastic Period, 26th dynasty
Necropolis (Greek)
Greek lit. City of the dead, cemetery
Nefer (nfr)
Amulet made of gold, good luck charm
Neferkare, Pepi II, Pepy II
Old Kingdom pharaoh, 6th dynasty
Nefertari, Nefertari-Mery-Mut
Main wife of Ramses II
Nefertiti, Nefertete, Nofretete
Wife of Akhenaten
Neferty
Prophet
Neheh (nHH)
Eternity, perpetual renewal of cycles, as opposed to djet
Nehes
see Nubia
Nekhakha (nxx)
see flagellum
Nekhbet
Goddess of Upper Egypt represented in the form of a vulture
Nekhekh (nxx)
see flagellum
Nekhen, Hierakonpolis
Ancient southern capital
Nephthys, Nepthys, Nebt-Het
Goddess, wife of Seth
Neshmet (nSm.t)
The barque of Osiris
Nilometer
Place, generally with column, where the height of the Nile could be measured
Nitocris, Nitokris
daughter of Psammetic I, 26th dynasty, Wife of the God Amen
NK
New Kingdom
Nomarch (Greek)
Ruler of a nome
Nome (from Greek nomos division)
Administrative region
Nub (nb)
Gold
Nubia, Wawat
Region above the first cataract, occupied by Egypt during the 2nd Millennium BCE
Nun
Primordial god of water and fertility, depicted as a green or blue man
Nut
Goddess of the sky
O
Obol
Greek coin, one sixth of a drachma, divided into 8 chalkoi
Ogdoad (from Latin, Greek for eight)
The eight primeval gods of creation: Nun and Naunet, Kuk and Kauket, Huh and Hauhet, Amen and Amaunet
Oipe (jp.t)
Measure of capacity, 4 heqat, about 20 litres (NK to Roman times)
OK
Old Kingdom
On, Heliopolis (Greek)
Main temple of the sun god Re
Opening of the Mouth
ceremony performed for a deceased person
Osiris, Asr, Ausar
God of Duat, consort of Isis. Equated with the Greek Dionysos
Ostracon, Ostrakon (Greek)
a pottery sherd used for writing or sketching on, plural ostraka
P
Pabi
Ruler of Lachish, contemporary of Akhenaten
Paramoné (Greek)
In the Hellenist culture the obligation of a freed slave to perform services for his former master
Paser
1) Viceroy under Ay and Horemheb
2) Mayor and vizier under Sethi I and Ramses II
Pectoral (Latin)
Piece of jewellery covering upper chest
Pelusiac, Pelusian (from Greek)
The easternmost arm of the Nile, named after the town Pelusium
Pediese, Petiese, Pediaset
A number of Late Period priests, cf. The Petition of Pediese
Pepi
Two Old Kingdom pharaohs, 6th dynasty:
1)  Pepi I, Pepy I, Meryre
2)  Pepi II, Pepy II, Neferkare, Son of Pepi I
Peleset
One of the Sea Peoples, the Philistines, settled in Canaan
Peret, Pert, Proit (pr.t)
Season of Growth, from mid November to mid March in Ptolemaic times
Pesesh-kaf (psS-kf)
Ceremonial instrument used in the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony
Pharaoh (via Greek and Hebrew (par'oh) from Egyptian pr-aA - 'Great House')
Since the first millennium BCE king of Egypt,
Phoenix (Greek), Bennu bird
Mythological bird (see Bestiary)
Piankhi, Piye
Pharaoh of the Late Dynastic Period, 25th dynasty
Pre-dynastic, predynastic
Prehistoric period, 5500 to 3050 BCE
Prehirwonnef
Son of Ramesses II and Queen Nefertari, served in the army
Pronaos (from Greek)
Room leading to the naos
Proto-dynastic, protodynastic
Period 3200 to 3050, also called Late Gerzean
Prophet (from Greek)
Hm nTr, lit. servant of the god, Head priest
Psammetichos, Psammetic, Psamtek, Psamtik
Three pharaohs, 26th dynasty
Pseudoepigrapha (Greek)
Writings of a later date than purported, often attributed to an ancient authority like a pharaoh
Pshent
the double crown of the united Egypt
Ptach, Ptah
Creator god, Hephaestos to the Greeks
Ptahhotep
vizier under Djedkare (5th dynasty), putative author of instructions of wisdom
Punt
Apparently a region in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia and/or southern Arabia. At times identified with God's Land.
Pylon
Massive structure at the entrance of a temple complex
Pyramid texts
Texts written inside pyramids concerning the afterlife of the deceased
Pyramidion (from Greek)
Capstone of a pyramid
Q
Qa'a
Last pharaoh of the first dynasty
Qa'a
High-roofed reception room in Egyptian houses (see The House of Djehutinefer )
Qadesh
see Kadesh
Qebehsenuef, Kebhsenuf etc
One of the four sons of Horus
Qenbet (qnb.t)
Judicial court
Qoseir, Quseir
Port on the Red Sea coast
R
Ra
see Re
Rameses, Ramesis, Ramesses, Ramses, Ramsis
11 pharaohs reigning during the New Kingdom, 19th and 20th dynasty
Ramose
1) Vizier under Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV;
2) Vizier under Ramses II
Re, Ra
Sun god, Helios to the Greeks, with the cult centre at Heliopolis
Red crown
Deshret (dSr.t), the crown of Lower Egypt
Rekhmire
Mayor and vizier under Thutmose III and Amenhotep II, famous tomb (Regulation laid upon the vizier)
Remen (rmn)
1) Square measure, ½ Ta, divided into two heseb ;
2) Linear measure. above all as Double remen, divided into 40 digits - almost 75 cm
3) Linear measure. 50 cubits
Rensi
governor, possibly fictional, mentioned in the story of the Eloquent Peasant
Retenu, Rezenu
The region occupied today by Syria, Lebanon and northern Israel
Rib-Addi
Ruler of Byblos, contemporary of Akhenaten
Rosetau, Rasetjau
Place in the Afterlife, the Underworld, realm of Sokar
S
Sabgu
The planet Mercury
Sah (sAH)
The constellation of Orion, associated with Osiris
Sakkara, Saqqara
Burial ground near Memphis
Sarcophagus (Greek sarx + phagos, flesh eating)
Stone coffin
Sau
Apotropaic amulet
Scarab
1) Dung beetle
2) Amulet in the form of a dung beetle
Sebakhin, Sebbakhin (Arabic)
Decayed mud brick used as fertilizer by modern fellahin
Sechmet, Sekhmet
Goddess of love and protection, cf. Hathor
Sed Festival, Heb Sed (Hb-sd)
Celebration of the 30th anniversary of a pharaoh's rule, sometimes celebrated after a shorter time period
Senet (zn.t)
Board game
Seniu (sniw, until the New Kingdom Sna)
Weight, one twelfth of a deben, 7.6 grammes (New Kingdom)
Senmut, Senemut
Minister and favourite of Queen Hatshepsut
Senusert, Senusret, Senwosret, Sesostris
Three Middle Kingdom pharaohs, 12th dynasty
Serdab (cellar in Arabic)
Old Kingdom underground funerary chapel with a statue of the deceased, contains small openings possibly to enable the ka to participate in the prayers and sacrifices.
Serekh (srx)
Written symbol of kingship in the shape of a palace (see the Narmer Palette)
Serpopards (from Greek)
Long-necked chimaera of Mesopotamian origin
Seshat
Goddess, her name means 'female scribe'. Perhaps a form of Nephthys
Set, Seth
God of chaos, brother of Osiris
Setau
Viceroy of Kush under Ramses II
Setchat, stat (sTAt)
Square measure, 100 cubits squared, 2500 sqm; Greek aroura
Setep (stp)
Ceremonial instrument used in the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony
Shabti, Shawabti (?) (mainly New Kingdom), Ushabti (mainly Late Period)
Mummyform statuette of the deceased placed since the Middle Kingdom in tombs to do manual labour
Shaddoof, Shadoof, Shaduf, Shadouf (Arabic)
Contraption for raising water manually
Shawabti (Swb.tj)
see shabti
Shechem, Shekhem, Sichem (Semitic)
Town in Canaan (Palestine)
Shemu, Shammu, Shamu (Smw)
The season of harvest, mid March to mid July in Ptolemaic times
Shena (Sna)
see seniu
Shepseskaf
King (4th dynasty), son of Menkaure
Sheshonk, Sheshonq
5 pharaohs reigning during the 3rd Intermediate Period, 22th and 23th dynasty
Shu
God, often identified with Heracles by the Greeks
Shuwardata
Ruler of Keilah, contemporary of Akhenaten
Sile
Town on the eastern border of the Delta (Tell Abu Seify), possibly identical with Zaru
SIP
Second Intermediate Period
Sistrum, Seistron
Musical instrument, rattle
Snefru, Sneferu, Snofru
Old Kingdom Pharaoh, 4th dynasty
Solar boat, ~ ship, ~ barque
Boat used by the sun god to cross the sky
Sopdet (spd.t), Greek Sothis
Goddess, embodiment of the star Sirius
Speos (Greek for 'cave')
Temple cut into rock
Sphinx (Greek)
Statue with lion's body and human or animal head
Stat (sTA.t)
see Setchat
Stater
Also tetradrachma, Greek 4 drachma coin
Stela, stele (plural stelae or steles) (from Greek)
Monumental stone slab with carvings
T
Ta (tA)
Old Kingdom area measure
10 cubits by 10 cubits, ca. 27 m²
Tadu-heba, Tadukhipa
Daughter of Tushratta, married to Amenhotep III
Talatat (from Arabic for three)
Small stone blocks used in temple walls
Talent
60 minas at 100 drachmas each, 6000 drachmas
Tamilat
see Tumilat
Tauret, Taweret, Tauwret
fertility goddess
Tefnut
Goddess of dew and rain
Tehenu, Tehennu, Ta-Seti
People living in the Sahara, Libyans
Tehuti
see Thoth
Temenos (Greek)
Enclosure adjacent to or surrounding a temple etc
Tet (tj.t),
cf. Tyet
Teti
6th dynasty pharaoh
Thebes, No, Waset, Wese
New Kingdom capital of Egypt, centre of the Amen cult
Thoth, Thot, Toth, Tehuti, Djehuti
God of wisdom, his main temple was at Hermopolis, Hermes Trismegistus to the Greeks
Thuthmose, Thutmose, Thutmosis, Tuthmosis
1) Four New Kingdom pharaohs, 18th dynasty;
2) Famous artist active under Akhenaten (Bust of Nefertiti)
TIP
Third Intermediate Period
Tiye
Wife of Amenhotep III, daughter of Yuya and Tuyu, mother of Akhenaten
Triad (from Greek 'trias' for three)
Three related gods - the Theban Triad, the Triad of Abydos, the Triad of Memphis
TT
Theban Tomb, together with a number used by archaeologists to identify ancient tombs at Thebes
Tumilat, Tamilat
Wadi connecting the easternmost arm of the Nile to the Bitter Lakes
Tushratta
King of Mitanni, first half of the 14th century BCE
Tutanchamen, Tutanchamun, Tutankhamen, Tutankhaten, Tutankhamun
New Kingdom pharaoh, 18th dynasty
Two lands
The united land of Upper and Lower Egypt, since the New Kingdom also referred to as Kemet
Tyet, Tet, The Blood of Isis, The Buckle of Isis
Symbol associated with Isis, amulet made of red semi-precious stone
U
Uat. Uto
Goddess identified with the Greek Leto, her centre of worship was Buto
Ubasti
see Bast
Udjat, Wedjat (wAD.t)
The eye of Horus, amulet
Unas, Weni, Wenis
Old Kingdom pharaoh, 5th dynasty
Uni
see Weni
Upuaut, Wepwawet
Guardian god in the shape of a canine
Uraeus (from Greek, from Egyptian jAr.t )
Symbolic cobra, part of the headdress of pharaohs and gods.
Userkaf
First king of the fifth dynasty
Usertesen
See Senusret
Ushabti
see shabti
V
Valley of the Kings
Pharaonic burial site near Thebes during the New Kingdom, modern name for ancient "The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, L.P.H., in the West of Thebes" or "The Great Field"
Valley of the Queens
Burial site of queens near Thebes
Vizier (from Arabic wazeer)
Egyptian tjati, the Arabic word for the chief minister, generally used in the context of pharaonic Egypt
Voussoir (French from Latin volsorium)
Wedge shaped stone used for building arches
W
Wadjet (wAD.t), also wedjat, uzat
Lunar eye of Horus. The uraeus of Re. Often used in amulet form to protect from the evil eye
Was sceptre (wAs)
Symbol of well-being and happiness
Waset, Wese
see Thebes
Wawat
see Nubia
Wedjahorresnet
Physician, Persian period
Wenamen, Wenamun, Wen-Amun, Wen-Amen, Wen-amen
20th dynasty priest sent to Byblos to buy timber
Weni, Wenis
see Unas
Weni, Uni
6th dynasty official, governor of Upper Egypt, served under a number of pharaohs
Wepwawet
Upuaut
White crown
the crown of Upper Egypt
X
Xerxes
Persian king and pharaoh of Egypt (585-546 BCE)
Y
Yarsu
Syrian, sometimes identified with Merneptah Siptah's chancellor Bay.(19th dynasty)
Yuya
high official under Thutmose IV, husband of Tuyu
Z
Zaphnathpaaneah, Zaphnath-paaneah
according to the bible the Egyptian name of Joseph
Zaru, Thalu, Tjaru
A town in the Delta on the eastern frontier, possibly identical with Sile
Zoser
see Djoser

 


 
The metric equivalents of Egyptian measurements are the subject of debate.
Misspellings and alternates: pheonix, nefratiri, kufu, hetshepsut, pharaoh, pharaohs, pharoh, pharoah, pharoas, pharoahs, pharaon, pharaons, pharao,thutmous,tut,kingtut, heiroglyph, heiroglyphs, heiroglyphics

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

--History Index Page
-Dynasty List
-Main Index Page
-[1] Transliteration and pronunciation of ancient Egyptian
 
Offsite links(Opening in a new window)
These are just suggestions for further reading. I do not assume any responsibility for the content or availability of these sites.
 
-Glossary of the Ägyptologie Forum (in German)
-Makara's List of Ancient Egyptian People
-Anneke Bart's Ancient Egypt, containing essential info on a large number of ancient Egyptians
 

Feedback: Please report broken links, mistakes - factual or otherwise, etc. to me. Thanks.


© 2000
Changes:
November 2013
March 2010

 

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